John Palisano is someone I’ve known so long that I can’t remember when we met. We’ve run into each other over the years at World Horror Conventions, but the night that sticks in my mind is when John met me for dinner after I came down to LA for the first Death Salon. Over enchiladas and beer, we had an amazing conversation about what horror means to us and how writing saved our lives.
Author John Palisano has a pair of books with Samhain Publishing, DUST OF THE DEAD, and GHOST HEART. NERVES is available through Bad Moon. STARLIGHT DRIVE: FOUR HALLOWEEN TALES was released in time for Halloween, and his first short fiction collection ALL THAT WITHERS is available from Cycatrix press, celebrating over a decade of short story highlights. His latest book, NIGHT OF 1,000 BEASTS, is now available.
John won the Bram Stoker Award in short fiction in 2016 for “Happy Joe’s Rest Stop.” More short stories have appeared in anthologies from Cemetery Dance, PS Publishing, Independent Legions, DarkFuse, Crystal Lake, Terror Tales, Lovecraft eZine, Horror Library, Bizarro Pulp, Written Backwards, Dark Continents, Big Time Books, McFarland Press, Darkscribe, Dark House, Omnium Gatherum, and more. Nonfiction pieces have appeared in BLUMHOUSE, FANGORIA and DARK DISCOVERIES magazines. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Horror Writers Association.
Did something in the real world inspire Night of 1000 Beasts?
We were traveling on a train up the side of Pike’s Peak in Colorado when the idea formed. Looking out at the vast, untouched snow-covered vistas, it wasn’t hard to imagine how fast it’d be for nature to overcome people. I thought about my work in animal rights and how just it would be if animals hunted us and made us go through some of the awful things we do to them.
What is your favorite scene in the book?
There’s a few scenes where a man who runs a dog-fighting ring finds himself hunted by pit bull things. That felt extremely healing, in a way, to see such a person get theirs. That’s my second-favorite scene. The first favorite is one I don’t want to ruin, as it puts the entire book in a different light near the end.
What was your writing process like as you wrote the book?
Night of 1000 Beasts was written in a frenzy. Most of it happened during a few trips to Colorado with my partner Fawn as we visited her family. The room I was in had this great little desk and lamp, and the book poured out in record time.
What was the best thing that happened during your promotion of the book?
So far, things have just started in that regard, but I’ve most surprised at how many people enjoyed the discussion around animal rights that the story brings up.
What do you have planned next?
I’ve been working on LOST CANYON for nearly two years. I’ve had to stop twice and do serious research. It warranted my doing so and was a lot of fun to embark upon. It should be done and out for submission by month’s end. Hoping to find a new home.
Thank you so much for having me!
SUMMARY of Night of 1000 Beasts:
During the longest night of the century in Deer Springs, Colorado, native creatures turn into the hunters, targeting a group of vacationers and turning their winter vacation into a living hell. For the ones who lurk in shadow, anxious to even the score, tonight’s the longest night of the century. The night of a thousand beasts. The night when they rise up and get to do to us what we do to them. It only happens once every seventy years. The night smells like blood and fear and sweat. The night smells of death.
Follow John’s work at www.johnpalisano.com.